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'VIEW' a Diamond

We have recently celebrated International Women's Day. VIEW organised a luncheon in my home town and invited me to be a guest speaker. Unfortunately, we also had torrential downpours and minor flooding, so the event was postponed until, at time of typing this post, last Thursday, or 24 March, 2022.


My contribution to the day was a speech about how and why I became an author, but at the risk of sounding trite, it paled in comparison to the other contributors who spoke eloquently and with pathos on stroke awareness, the local women's refuge for victims of domestic violence, the digital divide between city and country, and the work VIEW does to ensure disadvantaged children receive funds for school uniforms, equipment, and excursions. The final item in the preceding sentence resonated with me because of my university studies: we are discussing neoliberal policies and their impact, which has been to create a divide and competition between schools as they scrabble for enrolments like chooks scrabbling for scraps (good simile, methinks). Also, the studies have been focusing on the UNESCO convention that sets out the right for everybody to receive an education.


These issues are vitally important, so I felt a bit insignificant as I stood behind the podium. Thankfully, I'm quite proficient at public speaking and work well with a prepared speech, so I got through it. I had some anecdotes about the power I felt when I first started to write stories and realised I was in the role of an omniscient creator who ruled over this fictional universe. The anecdote that earned me the most chuckles was the one from when I was about six or seven years of age, and had proudly produced a sentence with appropriate clauses, comma placement, and conjunction placement. I knew I had done this correctly because, being an avid reader, I had acquired my nous for punctuation by osmosis. Well, this nun, Sister Mary-Psycho (or whatever her name was), had crossed out my comma and written another 'and'. As I told my audience, anybody who was educated by nuns in the Seventies would be aware disagreeing with one was tantamount to signing your own death warrant, but I was damned if I was going to allow this erroneous maligning of my work to just pass. So, I innocently said, "Sister, it's supposed to be a comma." The nun's reaction was flammable and volatile, and I am certain I tentatively touched my fingers to my eyebrows afterwards to reassure myself they had not been singed off by the inferno one infuriated nun can produce.


To contextualise that anecdote to this website: that I would, when a timid child, argue comma placement with a furiously combustible nun should be an indication of the dedication I would apply to ensuring the highest quality in your articles etc.


Thank you for reading this post. I will be getting myself ready for bed now. I am very sleepy because I had a late night last night; my husband and I attended a Neil Diamond tribute show. Very talented performer who sounded exactly like Diamond, and all day long I have been singing: "Sweeeeeet Ca-ro-line! (Ba-ba-baaaaa!)", and now I know you want to, too.

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